Army seeks to defend titles at Armed Forces Championships at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurt, N.J., Feb. 25-26

By Gary Abbott | USA Wrestling | February 22, 2017

The 2017 Armed Forces Wrestling Championships are set for Joint Base McGuire – Dix – Lakehurst, in New Jersey, Feb. 25-26.

This event features Greco-Roman and freestyle teams from four branches of the U.S. military battling for team titles, and individual medals. Traditionally, some of the nation’s best international wrestlers have been members of U.S. military wrestling programs and have competed in this event.

The 2016 Armed Forces Championships was held at Naval Base KITSAP in Washington, where the U.S. Army won both the Greco-Roman and freestyle team titles, and continued a 15-year streak of capturing the team titles.

The competition features dual meets, where all four military teams compete against each other. The results of these dual meets determine the final team standings. Individual medalists are also recognized in each weight class, based upon the results at that weight class in the dual meets.

Many people enjoy watching the Armed Forces Championships, which are highly competitive, and where the athletes compete for honor and pride in their service branch. There is also a tremendous level of respect and camaraderie between these athletes, who are active duty members of the U.S. military serving their nation.

Rosters from the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force have been submitted. In some cases, athletes may wrestle in both styles, or the team may present a different athlete in Greco-Roman than in freestyle.

In Greco-Roman, two 2016 Armed Forces champions are on the roster, SGT Michael Hooker of the U.S. Army at 65 kg and SGT Courtney Myers of the U.S. Army at 85 kg. Three 2016 Armed Forces Greco-Roman silver medalists return, 1stLt Aaron Kalil of the U.S. Marines at 59 kg, MSgt Sherwin Severin of the U.S. Air Force at 80 kg and 1stLt Daniel Miller of the U.S. Marines at 98 kg.

In freestyle, five 2016 Armed Forces champions appear on their team’s roster, SGT Ryan Mango of the U.S. Army at 61 kg, SGT Michael Hooker of the U.S. Army at 65 kg, SGT Vlad Dombrovskiy of the U.S. Army at 74 kg, 1stLt Daniel Miller of the U.S. Marine Corps at 97 kg and SPC Endhyr Meza of the U.S. Army at 125 kg. Four of the 2016 freestyle silver medalists are also listed on the rosters, 1stLt Aaron Kalil of the U.S. Marines at 61 kg, Sgt Raymond Bunker of the U.S. Marines at 65 kg, SPC Isaac Dukes of the U.S. Army at 70 kg and SPC Lucas Sheridan of the U.S. Army at 97 kg.

The U.S. Army team rosters includes a pair of Olympians, SPC Ellis Coleman at 66 kg in Greco-Roman who wrestled for the United States in 2012 London Games, and SPC Ildar Hafizov at 59 kg in Greco-Roman, who represented Uzbekistan at the 2008 Beijing Games. Also on the Army roster is 2LT Matthew Brown at 74 kg in freestyle, who was an NCAA Div. I champion for Penn State in 2015.

The top three placewinners in Greco-Roman qualify to compete at the U.S. Greco-Roman World Team Trials in Las Vegas, Nev., April 28-29.

The Greco-Roman competition will be held on Saturday, February 25, with session times of 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The freestyle competition is set for Sunday, February 26, with session times of 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

The entire competition will be broadcast live free of charge on TheMat.com and USA Wrestling’s YouTube Channel, with Richard Immel and Gary Abbott providing commentary. Complete coverage will also be posted on TheMat.com.

Joint Base McGuire – Dix – Lakehurst hosted the 2014 CISM World Military Wrestling Championships, and has also hosted previous Armed Forces Wrestling Championships.

2017 ARMED FORCES CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Joint Base McGuire – Dix – Lakehurst, N.J.

Team Rosters

U.S. Army Team Roster
57 kg FS – PFC Mike Fuenffinger
59 kg GR – SPC Ildar Hafizov
59 kg GR – SGT Ryan Mango
65 kg FS – 1LT Robert Zyko
66 kg GR – SPC Ellis Coleman
70 kg FS – SPC Isaac Dukes
71 kg GR – SGT Michael Hooker
74 kg FS – 2LT Matthew Brown
75 kg GR – SPC Dillon Cowan
80 kg GR – SGT Courtney Meyers
86 kg FS –SGT Vlad Dombrovskiy
86 kg FS – SPC Lucas Sheridan
97 kg FS – 2LT Josh Rogers
97 kg FS – SPC Endhyr Meza
130 kg GR – 2LT Toby Erickson
Head Coach – Shon Lewis
Assistant Coach – SSG Glenn Nieradka
Medical – Kyle Eckert
Project Officer – Bruce Robinson
Service Rep. – Claudia Berwager

U.S. Marine Corps Roster
59 kg GR – 2d LT Colton Rasche
61 kg FS – 1st Lt Aaron Kalil
66 kg GR – Sgt Raymond Bunker
71 kg GR – Cpl. Josh Russo
75 kg GR – Sgt JayShon Wilson
75 kg GR – Sgt. John Stefanowicz
75 kg GR – Sgt. Broc Clark
80 kg GR – Capt. Michael Brant
85 kg GR – LCpl. Vaughan Monreal-Berner
85 kg GR – Cpl. Dylan Turley-Rule
85 kg GR – LCpl Christopher Warren
98 kg GR – Sgt.Trent Osnes
98 kg GR – 1st Lt Daniel Miller
130 kg GR – LCpl. Eric Fader
Head Coach – Jason Loukides
Medical – Aaron Bachert
Service Rep. – Jim Medley

U.S. Air Force Roster
57 kg FS – SSgt Jeff Warra
59 kg GR – SSgt Randy Duncan
61 kg FS – A1C Jaded-Raven Soles
65 kg FS – A1C Dakota Ball
66 kg GR – SSgt Nate Higgins
71 kg GR – Lt Brandon Mueller
75 kg GR – A1C Tyler Westlund
80 kg GR – SrA Brandon Johnson
85 kg GR – MSgt Sherwin Severin
98 kg GR – A1C Francisco Mata
98 kg GR – A1C Raul Velez
Head Coach – Floyd Winter
Assistant Coach – MSgt Joel Bane
Project Officer – 2d Lt Thomas Berezansky
Manager – Kim Lissner
Medical Trainer – 1st Lt Lauren Foy

U.S. Navy Roster
57 kg FS – Sean Donnelly
57 kg FS – Michael Hollingsworth
59 kg GR – Bobby Raines
61 kg FS – Genesis Ramirez
65 kg FS – Antonio Martinez
70 kg FS – Bobby Yamashita
70 kg FS – Blake Borges
74 kg FS – Lance Jefferies
80 kg GR – Joseph Marques
85 kg GR – Daniel Mazzie
97 kg FS – Antonio Harris
97 kg FS – Afukeze Mus
125 kg FS – Zachahria Manning
Head Coach – Ale Delapena
Assistant Coach – Jesse Delapena
Medical – Ronald Fenton
Project Officer – Cory Asato
Service Rep. – James Senn

Event Schedule

Saturday, February 25
9:00 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies
10:00 a.m. – Greco-Roman 1st and 2nd Session (30 minutes after 1st session)
1:00 p.m. – Greco-Roman 3rd Session

Sunday, February 26
10:00 a.m. – Freestyle 1st and 2nd Session (30 minutes after 1st session)
1:00 p.m. – Freestyle 3rd Session

2016 ARMED FORCES CHAMPIONSHIPS
At KITSAP Naval Base, Bremerton, Wash.

Greco-Roman Team Standings
1. U.S. Army, 3-0 record
2. U.S. Marines, 2-1 record
3. U.S. Air Force, 1-2 record
4. U.S. Navy, 0-3 record.

Greco-Roman Medalists

59 kg/130 lbs.
Gold – SGT Jermaine Hodge (Army)
Silver - 1stLt Aaron Kalil (Marines)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold - PFC Michael Hooker (Army)
Silver - SrA Thomas Domerese (Air Force)

71 kg/156 lbs.
Gold – Capt Bryce Saddoris (Marines)
Silver - SGT Jamel Johnson (Army)

75 kg/165 lbs.
Gold – SGT Justin Lester (Army)
Silver - 1stLt Robby Neill (Marines)

80 kg/176 lbs.
Gold– SGT Timothy Bleau (Army)
Silver – MSgt Sherwin Severin (Air Force)

85 kg/187 lbs.
Gold – SGT Courtney Myers (Army)
Silver - MM3 James Souza (Navy)

98 kg/215 lbs.
Gold – SGT Caylor Williams (Army)
Silver – 1stLt Daniel Miller (Marines)

130 kg/286 lbs.
Gold – SPC Matthew Lamb (Army)
Silver - SrA Jorge Hernandez (Air Force)

Freestyle Team Standings
1. U.S. Army, 3-0 record
2. U.S. Marines, 2-1 record
3. U.S. Air Force, 1-2 record
4. U.S. Navy, 0-3 record

Freestyle Medalists

57 kg/125.5 lbs.
Gold – SGT Max Nowry (Army)
Silver - CPL Ruben Navejas (Marines)

61 kg/134 lbs.
Gold – SPC Ryan Mango (Army)
Silver - 1stLt Aaron Kalil (Marines)

65 kg/143 lbs.
Gold – PFC Michael Hooker (Army)
Silver - CPL Raymond Bunker (Marines)

70 kg/154 lbs.
Gold – Capt Bryce Saddoris (Marines)
Silver - SPC Isaac Dukes (Army)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold –SGT Vladyslov Dombrovskiy (Army)
Silver - 1stLt Robby Neill (Marines)

86 kg/189 lbs.
Gold – SGT Victor Terrell (Army)
Silver – MM3 James Souza (Navy)

97 kg/213 lbs.
Gold – 1stLt Daniel Miller (Marines)
Silver - PFC Lucas Sheridan (Army)

125 kg/275 lbs.
Gold – SPC Endhyr Meza (Army)
Silver - SrA Jorge Hernandez (Air Force)

Women's freestyle medalists

63 kg/138.75 lbs
Gold - SGT Sally Roberts (Army)
Silver - Abril Ramirez (Navy)
2017 Air Force armed forces Army Championship Fort Dix Marine Corps Navy Sports USAF USMC Wrestling